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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
I’ve never had a colorectal cancer screening. Is a colonoscopy painful?
Gastroenterology specialist Dr. Daniel Zhang says colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for both men and women.
“As many as two-thirds of those deaths might have been prevented,” he says. “Regular colorectal cancer screening tests beginning at age 50 can help detect and prevent the occurrence of this all-too-prevalent disease.”
Patients with a family history of colorectal cancer and certain inflammatory bowel diseases should start screening at a younger age.
“The key,” Dr. Zhang continues, “is catching the disease in the early stages when treatment is more effective and the chances for a cure are greater.”
While several screening techniques are available, Dr. Zhang says that colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” of preventive screenings.
“It’s a safe, effective procedure that can help detect cancerous and precancerous growths in the early stages,” Dr. Zhang says.
Kelsey-Seybold has endoscopy suites – specially designed medical facilities dedicated to the screening, detection and removal of precancerous and cancerous abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract – at its Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center and Berthelsen Main Campus clinic locations.
“With regular screenings, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable,” concludes Dr. Zhang.